Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions is a very interesting product. Set in the world of Warhammer, this game captures imagination from the first glance and does not let you to be distracted even for the moment before you try the basics of the game. This high level of immersion soon fades away as you discover the new strategies and tactics. As you progress in the game and gain new levels and new experience, you always discover something new, but this feeling of novelty goes away as you notice that battles and combinations of cards remind of each other and soon the deepness of gameplay becomes a mere shadow of what it was once. Certainly, low variety of tactics is not such a big issue – the game was released in February of this year and has a potential of growing bigger and bringing new interesting card mechanics but the general tendency alarms.
The biggest disadvantage of the game – the shallowness of the gameplay and its core mechanics. The game is as deep as Hearthstone is, maybe only a little bit deeper. For the moment, in the world of Pokemon, Star Worlds: Living Card Game and Android: Netrunner this is huge disadvantage, as in my personal opinion Hearthstone and Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions lose in terms of complexity to the aforementioned products. If you never played them before and want to start from the very beginning, ask yourself a question: do you like a chess or not? Because if your answer is positive, then Champions is the right thing for you. Positioning of units and placing of champions may be a key factor for a successful play and the right timing of using spells and summoning units may be a key factor for a victory. Certainly, not all victories are forged with fire – luck plays an important role here. If it’s leveled in some games, it plays a very important role in others. Compare for the moment Pokemon trading card game and Hearthstone. What’s the difference between two of them? There are actually many, but the most important one is that you can search for cards easily in Pokemon. Cards like Skyla can get you any trainer cards and cards like Ultra Ball any pokemon card in the game. With Hearthstone it’s different and searching for cards is limited here. Similarly, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions does not let you to search you deck freely – it does not have many cards of this type. Because of this, playing this game may be sometimes uneasy but never frustrating – due to a high tension and general usefulness of all cards, you don’t have any negative emotions.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions is a perfect time killer. No matter if we talk about digital or paper version of the game – this game allows you to shorten you time in waiting, which is certainly good for all types of travelers and passengers of trains, suburb trains, etc. What’s important to understand is that it’s free to play product where donate functions don’t play important role. You may donate or may not, but basic versions of all four starter deck provide you with enough excitement to keep playing for a long period of time. If you want to unlock all types of goodies here, you certainly will have to pay, but the prices are reasonably low, so paying is not such a big issue. The purchase of champion pass gives you some kind of advantage, buying crystal (gems) – ability to buy in game goods such as boosters, cards of a day, chests with treasures and many other things as that.
The game has campaigns, which are very unfriendly to an average user. Not only their champions and units are better than yours are but they start with additional units on the field which turns the game against them in a typical nightmare.
If you want to defeat your enemies and complete all campaigns, you certainly need to pay to unlock the most powerful cards. Since it has already been said that the game is very cheap at the moment all donation may cost you no more than 20-30$ for a comfortable play (which is compared to a price of traditional video game). This part of the product is not a disadvantage, as you may believe. Just prepare to pay or grind little by little if you want to succeed in the game.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions is not completed yet. It does not have trade lobby, chat room, normal deckbuilder like many other games have (look at pokemon trading card game online to understand what I mean), it does not have a description of cards, clear system of understanding what each card does. It’s not perfect but is not bad either. It’s a quality product with its own distinguishable traits which may be appealing for these who love tactics where positioning of units matters. The game certainly leaves a lot of questions: why do units exist only for a short period of time, but then disappear? Why do you need to play spells and unit cards in a certain order to unlock powerful effects of blessings? Why do abilities of champions have so narrow effects that you barely want to use them?
Fans want to know if the game corresponds to the lore of Warhammer. Yes, it does, to the full extent. They also may want to know the final opinion on the product, which we don’t have at the moment. Keep in mind that the game is just not ready – future expansions will forge it and hopefully will make it better than it is now. Currently at the moment it a time-killer game with a low level of player’s engagement, not saturating, not deep enough to play for the whole day but enough for two or three hours. Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions may seem addictive for some players but I personally did not notice any feeling of strong dependency.
Graphics, sounds and the visual design are nicely done. Interface is friendly; bugs are unknown or not noticed. Currently at the moment it’s a product with potential but the game mechanics, rules and card design already limit it. Hopefully, it will be changed in the future but at the moment if you want something bigger, deeper and more interesting, you need something else to play.
Champions is a very ambitious project. There are as many good ideas as mediocre ones. Canon of Warhammer affected the development and it’s also seen. Low power level of some units, narrowness of some abilities may kill the interest for many players. With that, general ideas and common representation of Warhammer lore may keep many players interested in this game.
Editor’s note: the screenshots in this article were altered to hide the in-game name of the author. In reality, the in-game name is displayed on the bottom left corner during the game session and on the right upper corner in the menu of the game. The article was reuploaded to reflect the modern state of the game.